Projects for Miniaturists
By Editorial Staff
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Aurora LaJambre
Making miniatures is an addictive hobby because there are no limitations to what you can build.
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned artist, there are countless ways to grow your craft while creating one-of-a-kind scale masterpieces.
These top projects for miniaturists cover a range of skill levels and specializations.
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10. Mini books
There are two types of small books you can make. The simpler versions are basically pieces of wood or cardboard covered in fabric or painted to look like books. The second type, a book with paper, binding and writing, takes time and a steady hand. Book lovers pay tribute to their favorite authors by replicating classic covers and carefully writing favorite lines or passages on the pages.
Over time, many develop a niche. They discover a fondness for trains or decorating and begin to collect materials and special items to inspire future projects for miniaturists. Collecting dollhouse furniture, flags and other special household items is the kind of on-going hobby that’ll motivate you to explore more, hit up yard sales and antique shops with an eye out for unique gems.
Whether you want to make a family for a diorama or passengers for a train, making your own figures adds life to your work. Figures with clothing and expressive faces accentuate the setting and hard work you’ve put into the overall piece. Use polymer clay to mold or sculpt figures, then simply bake them in the oven and paint.
7. The dreaded cleanup
Constructing miniatures sure makes a big mess. You know you’ve had a good time when the table is a mess and your arm somehow winds up glued to the table. Only miniaturists make a sharp distinction between scale and life size projects. Cleaning your workspace does goes with the territory, but it’s doesn’t exactly inspire perfection. Do your best. Like many things, cleaning and organizing is a work-in-progress.
6. Recreate historical scenes
History lovers with a keen eye for detail can recreate designs from their favorite time periods. Military history buffs construct landscapes to look like Gettysburg and other sites complete with soldier figures.
5. Dollhouse decorating
The dollhouse is a gateway for many. Decorating a dollhouse is also a fun way to share your enthusiasm with a child. They’re a perfect canvas for experimenting and refining your personal interior decorating style. If you have an interest in furniture start small, weaving rugs and or build an Adirondack chair at 1” scale before spending time and materials of life-size practice projects.
Building and collecting model trains is serious business for enthusiasts. It’s also a blast. These are the kinds of projects for miniaturists to work on in stages as each stage engages a different part of the brain – creative, logistical, aesthetic. Plus it never ends because you can always built more track, add novelty train cars, tunnels and a train station if you want to.
3. Art replicas
Every lifelike diorama and dollhouse deserves some art! One of the most magical aspects of creating your own world is the effort it takes to make it look as lifelike as possible. Choose a few of your favorite paintings and work at copying them at ever smaller scaled. This will take a lot of practice, but the result will be a guaranteed scene-stealer.
2. Model airplanes
Building model airplanes is a hobby many pick up when a parent introduces them at a young age. What begins with a simple kit leads to the young builder on a lifetime pursuit of more complex scale model challenges.
1. Smallest of small details
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Once you fall through the rabbit hole, you see there are worlds within worlds to create. A diorama may begin as a farmhouse living room, but it’s not complete until you’ve made candles for the mantle, a glass vase with seasonal blooms and slippers by the reading chair. The more realistic, the better! Use old lipstick to make a few mini tubes for small purses, or old seeds to fill mini seed packets for the shed.
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